NEWPORT County fans have been among the best-behaved in League Two over the past couple of seasons.

Police figures show no County fans were arrested for football-related offences last season. There were four arrests in 2019/20.

Of course, most of the past two campaigns have been overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic, with fans unable to attend grounds.

Last season, League Two stands were empty for the regular campaign – although County were permitted a few hundred fans for the play-offs – while the 2019/20 season was brought to an early end, with no matches (except the play-offs) after early April.

But those restrictions didn't stop 99 fans of League Two clubs being slapped with banning orders, and more than 80 being arrested, over the course of those two seasons.

Like 20 other clubs in last season's League Two campaign, no County fans were arrested for football-related offences.

But fans of three League Two clubs did get in trouble with the police last season, despite being unable to attend their matches.

Two Bolton Wanderers fans were arrested last season (for breaching banning orders), as well as two Tramere Rovers fans (one for public disorder, and the other for throwing missiles) and one Morecambe fan (for public disorder).


Across Welsh and English football last season, there were a total of 116 arrests for football-related offences, but the vast majority (96) were linked to this summer's European Championship international matches, when fans were able to attend stadiums.

Fans were most likely to have been apprehended over violent or public disorder and alcohol or drug related offences, the figures show, and this week England was given a one-match stadium ban following unrest at Wembley during the Euro 2020 final.

The previous season, just six clubs involved in the 2019/20 League Two campaign did not see any of their fans arrested for football-related offences. They were Cambridge United, Colchester United, Forest Green Rovers, Leyton Orient, Port Vale and Stevenage.

County's four arrests that season means Exiles fans were still among the most well-behaved in the league.

The league's most badly-behaved fans in 2019/20, according to the police data, were Swindon Town (17 football-related arrests), Plymouth Argyle (11) and Exeter City (seven).

A significant national drop in both arrests and new banning orders – which were down to 208 from 360 the season before across the football pyramid – is linked to the vast majority of matches being played without spectators last season due to coronavirus restrictions, but also reflects a wider downward trend, the Home Office said.

Professor Geoff Pearson, an expert in football-related disorder and hooliganism, said the use of banning orders to prevent further incidents from those convicted of football-related offences is "utterly sensible".

He added: "The policing of football in this country has taken massive strides over the last decade and now we have a situation where the vast majority of matches pass peacefully.

"Those bans have played a significant role in reducing overall levels of violence and disorder, though what is less clear is the impact of bans on people who have not been convicted".

A Home Office spokesperson said football-related violence and disorder would not be tolerated, adding that the UK Government supported police in taking action.

He said: “We are also taking action to tackle online racist abuse in football by seeking to amend legislation so that online abusers can be barred from stadiums in the same way violent thugs are barred from grounds.”

Additional reporting by Joanna Morris, Data Reporter for the RADAR news service